20 April 1917
EWELL'S FALLEN HEROES
MEMORIAL TABLET ERECTED
At Ewell on Sunday afternoon (15 April), there was unveiled and dedicated a mural tablet bearing the names of those from the parish who have died on active service. The site selected for the tablet was the ancient Watch House in church Street - it is in a conspicuous position - the tablet of Portland stone is four feet by three feet in size, and already bears the names of twenty-nine men who are known to have been killed on active service. Many people gathered in front of the Watch House to witness the ceremony, which lasted but half an hour, and there was general approval of the memorial, the cost of which has been defrayed by private subscriptions.
The service opened with the hymn "O, God, Our Help in Ages Past", the singing of which was led by the combined choirs of Ewell and West Ewell Churches. Then followed Psalm xxiii ("The Lord is my Shepherd") - which was chanted - and the lesson, which was taken from 1. Cor xv.
The Vicar (the Rev. J. Wallace) said the passage which he had just read was selected for the Burial Service because it contained words of comfort for the living; in it praise and thanks were given to God for the great and glorious victory over spiritual foes and the victory over death. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Death must be destroyed and it had been destroyed in the person of Christ. Their brothers whose deaths they mourned that day had given their lives in order that their foes might become alive to the claims of humanity and all other things which they in a Christian country revered. Whilst mourning the loss of those men they had great cause to thank God for the preservation of their country from the onslaughts of the enemy. The Vicar hoped that young and old when passing the memorial tablet would treat it with respect and reverence, and remember those brave men who went forth at the call of duty, not from selfish motives but in order that the people of this land might be free from slavery. Might this day remain in their memories because their sons had done the greatest thing that men could be expected to do, they had laid down their lives for their friends whilst facing the foes of their country and foes of mankind.
The Chairman of the Parish Church (Mr. A.R. Glyn) then unveiled the tablet, which was draped with the Union Jack, remarking that the tablet was now taken out of private hands and committed to the care of the Parish Council. The tablet was intended to be a permanent record to remind the parish of those who had given their lives in the service of their King and Country and had accomplished that which many of them could never hope to accomplish, however long they lived. Many of them might be inclined to think that these men had been prematurely cut off, but if it were so they had followed the example of Him who laid down His life for the world. They could be sure that their loved ones were at rest.
Dedicatory prayers were then uttered by the Vicar, after which the hymn "On the Resurrection Morning" was sung, and the Benediction was pronounced.
At the conclusion of the service "The Last Post" was sounded by Bugler J.C. Gydosii, a French-Canadian, convalescent at Woodcote Park Camp, Epsom.